What We Know About Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Separation

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have been married for over 20 years, but as many know, marriage is hard work, and things aren’t always smooth sailing. That was the case for Will and Jada back in 2011. During a 2018 episode of Jada’s “Red Table Talk” show, the couple opened up about the first time they broke up during their marriage. The initial split stemmed from Jada’s 40th birthday party after Will hired Mary J. Blige to perform and made a video of never-before-seen moments of Jada’s late grandmother.

“She’s like, it’s my birthday, and she told me that the party was the most ridiculous display of my ego,” Will said. “Crushed, right? And to this day I know I was crushed because it was true. It wasn’t a party for her. When she called me on that, that’s when I snapped and that’s the only time you ever heard me snap. I snapped in front of Willow, and Willow starts crying and she’s like, ‘Just figure it out.'”

Will admitted that he “saw for the first time what Jada had been saying the whole time about hiding behind my ego” and realized Jada “wanted none of the stuff I had built.” Will and Jada never considered divorce an option but, according to the latter, it seems they never got back together.

In her memoir “Worthy,” out on Oct. 17, Jada reveals that she and Will have “been living separate lives” since 2016, per People. The revelation surfaced as she recalled the infamous Oscars slap between Will and Chris Rock, noting that the couple attended the 2022 Academy Awards “as family, not as husband and wife.” Jada spoke about the shocking reveal in more detail during a preview of her NBC News special with Hoda Kotb, which airs in full on Oct. 13. The former “Red Table Talk” host told Kotb that legally the two are still married and clarified that though their split isn’t filed on paper, it’s figuratively a divorce.

When asked why the pair hadn’t shared this news previously, Jada said it was due to “just not being ready yet . . . Still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership . . . In regards to, how do we present that to people? We hadn’t figured that out.”

Jada shared that “a lot of things” led to her and Will’s separation. “By the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both kind of just still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be.” As for if they’ve considered moving forward with a permanent split, Jada said, “I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through . . . whatever. I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”

Will and Jada quietly got married in Baltimore on New Year’s Eve in 1997. They share two kids together: Willow, 22, and Jaden, 25. Will also shares his oldest son, Trey, 30, with ex-wife Sheree Zampino. While the couple were largely considered the perfect Hollywood couple in the early 2000s, their marriage became gossip fodder after rumors started swirling around 2013 that they had an open relationship, followed by divorce rumors. Years later, they made headlines again when it was revealed that Jada had an “entanglement” with singer August Alsina, which the Smiths famously addressed during a 2020 “Red Table Talk” episode.

Still, Jada and Will have attended a number of Hollywood events together in recent years related to the latter’s latest movie projects. They were last seen at the “Emancipation” premiere in Los Angeles in November 2022.

Scroll ahead to learn more about Will and Jada’s relationship.